Users urged to check chlorine transfer equipment

Following an initial investigation into an August 2002 incident where much of a railcar's contents were released into the atmosphere, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) issued in December 2002 an advisory covering chlorine transfer equipment, particularly transfer hoses. Though CSB has yet to issue official findings, early analysis indicates the release was caused by a ...

By Staff February 1, 2003

Washington, DC -Following an initial investigation into an August 2002 incident where much of a railcar’s contents were released into the atmosphere, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) issued in December 2002 an advisory covering chlorine transfer equipment, particularly transfer hoses. Though CSB has yet to issue official findings, early analysis indicates the release was caused by a hose rupturing during transfer, which was followed by failure of automatic isolation equipment, despite indications that the isolation equipment was frequently tested and found to be in good working order.

This incident points out the risk of design faults that can occur when material compatibility is overlooked. CSB believes that, even though railcar system’s metal-braided hose was marked as compatible with chlorine, it was not.

Sources close to the investigation indicate the isolation valves stroked properly. However, the seat/ball/plug connections were substantially corroded, and allowed significant amounts of chlorine to pass through the closed valve. All organizations using chlorine are urged to review material compatibility of their transfer equipment, including transfer hoses, isolation valves, and check valves.

For more information, visit www.chemsafety.gov